Paul Hartburn is cool, calm and composed ahead of his professional debut at Rise and Conquer 11 on October 1st.
After attaining a credible amateur record of (6-3), Hartburn now feels the times right to compete on the pro-circuit. The TFT fighter is coming off a victory on the Sunderland based promotion’s last show in May, where he bagged a decision over Robbie Park.
We had the oppetunity of speaking with Paul Hartburn ahead of his bantamweight clash with Ryan Taylor. Read the full exclusive interview below.
Interview With Paul Hartburn
Fight night is creeping upon us as you make the second walk to the Octagon this year. How’s the mindset leading into battle on October 1st?
I’m quite relaxed at present. I think that comes from my preparation. I’m training with elite fighters daily and also pushing myself in all other aspects of my training. So, confidence is high, in all honesty.
Quickly touching on your most recent outing with Robbie Park. Having time to reflect and digest that performance, are you happy with yourself? Watching it back, is there anything that stands out that you wish you had done differently?
I always try to pull my fights apart, to constantly improve and evolve as a fighter. Originally I intended to come out and strike more. I flung a backhand in the first round, and we ended up in a clinch. My grappling felt dominant throughout, so I just kept it there. I would have liked to have had the finish as well. Fair play to Robbie, though. How his arm never snapped in the 3rd, I have no idea.
Paul Hartburn Talks Amateur Career
You made your amateur debut in 2017. How would you describe your amateur career as you have now closed the door on it?
One of growth, really. Early on, I was winning every fight in the first round. My first loss was an eye-opener, and it allowed me to improve on certain aspects of my game. Feeling that disappointment of a loss as an amateur against good fighters is beneficial for everyone in the sport. Otherwise, you can become stagnant, and when getting to pro, you be learning some harsh lessons.
As of late, it’s been a case of winning one, dropping one, and repeat, failing to pick up that momentum and find yourself on a winning streak. Why will this time be different?
I feel I’m in a different place, both mentally and physically. Earlier on, as an amateur, I had an urgency to run through everyone in the first. Since covid and as I age, I’m just learning to enjoy the process.
Joining the Pro-ranks
Professional debuts can be daunting. How are you dealing with the nerves as we approach fight night?
Like I said previously, I’m pretty relaxed and just learning to enjoy everything. It’s a fight at the end of the day. I’ve had plenty before. The only difference is a few slight tweaks in the rule set.
How did you and your team know the time was right to make the leap to the pro-rank?
Originally I had set a goal for 2020 to get a few fights in, grappling comps, etc. and then hopefully get told I would be going pro. Before my last fight, Fisher told me that if I won, I would be going pro. So, I feel I’ve been ready for a while now. It’s nice to know my coach feels I’m ready to make the jump, also.
The man that stands in your way is Ryan Taylor. What are your thoughts, if any, on the matchup?
He looks like a game fighter. He looks like he is going to try and kill you with every shot. I just think my fight IQ and technique will be too much for him on the night.
Goals Within the Sport
What’s the mindset leading into making your professional debut? Are you in the zone of taking it to fight by fight, or have you set yourself some long-term goals?
Definitely fight by fight. I just want to enjoy the process. I have no long-term goals such as a certain organisation, etc. I just want to keep going whilst I still have the love for the sport, and my body will still allow me to do it.
Lastly, what can those attending expect to see when the cage door closes on Paul Hartburn and Ryan Taylor?
I’m going in there with the whole intention of finishing the fight and finishing it decisively come October 1st.
Featured image credits to Paul Hartburn